November 19, 2006

This is a dazzling debunking of climate change science.
It is also wildly wrong
by George Monbiot

Deniers are cock-a-hoop at an aristocrat's claims that global warming is a UN hoax. But the physics is bafflingly bad  

For the past nine days my inbox has been filling up with messages labelled "Your scam exposed", "The great fraud unravels" and "How do you feel now, asshole?". They are referring to a new "scientific paper", which proves that the "climate change scare" is a tale "worthier of St John the Divine than of science".

Published in two parts on consecutive Sundays, it runs to a total of 52 pages, containing graphs, tables and references. To my correspondents, to a good many journalists and to thousands of delighted bloggers, this paper clinches it: climate change is a hoax perpetrated by a leftwing conspiracy coordinated by the United Nations.

So which was the august journal that published it?

Science? Nature? Geophysical Research Letters? Not quite. It was the Sunday Telegraph. In keeping with most of the articles about climate change in that publication, it is a mixture of cherry-picking, downright misrepresentation and pseudo-scientific gibberish. But it has the virtue of being incomprehensible to anyone who is not an atmospheric physicist.

The author of this "research article" is Christopher Monckton, otherwise known as Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. He has a degree in classics and a diploma in journalism and, as far as I can tell, no further qualifications. But he is confident enough to maintain that - by contrast to all those charlatans and amateurs who wrote the reports produced by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - he is publishing "the truth". more...

November 18, 2006

Waging Peace
By Marianne Williamson

In the United States, 12 children each day die from gun violence. Homicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 24 in 2001, with rates 10 times that of other leading industrialized nations. In 2005, there were more than 190,000 reported victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assaults. Acts of terrorism worldwide are up since the start of the Iraq war. War itself has killed more than half a million Americans since World War II.

A bill before Congress would establish a US Department of Peace. This measure would provide practical, nonviolent solutions for the problems of domestic and international conflict. It would apply the institutional heft of the US government to a serious effort not merely at avoiding war or waging war more effectively. It would take America to the next evolutionary step: It would proactively wage peace. more...

November 17, 2006

The People's Case for Impeaching Bush
By Elizabeth Holtzman

Editor's note: With their party back in power for the first time since 1994, some senior House Democrats who will be rising to committee chairmanships are already planning to conduct investigations into wrongdoings of the Bush administration in everything thing from fraud and abuse in Iraq War contracting to illegal domestic surveillance and detainee interrogations. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders, however, are signaling that any investigations will be kept on a tight leash. They fear that scrutiny of the administration will make Democrats appear excessively partisan and cost the party votes in 2008. As for the possible impeachment of President George W. Bush, Pelosi has explicitly declared it to be "off the table."

Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman is one wise legal thinker who says that, whether or not it would be a political liability for the Democrats, impeaching Bush is their constitutional duty. Holtzman served four terms in Congress, where she played a key role in House impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon. Holtzman's full brief on this subject can be found in The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens (Nation Books), which she co-wrote with Cynthia L. Cooper.

Impeachment is an essential tool for preserving democracy. The framers of our Constitution, determined to provide protections against grave abuses of power by a president, created the impeachment process as a special procedure for citizens. Through their representatives, citizens would be able to remove a president run amok.

Our founders created a new form of government that was designed to preserve liberty by breaking up power among three co-equal branches of government and instituting a system of checks and balances. But they worried deeply about presidential misconduct. Left unchallenged, it could be "fatal to the Republic," said James Madison. The new democracy needed the ability to remove a president, if necessary.

Impeachment is the first step of a two-step process that can result in the removal of a president from office. The House of Representatives first decides whether to charge the president with impeachable offenses. If a majority of the House votes to impeach, articles of impeachment, which contain the charges, are forwarded to the Senate. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over a trial in the Senate, and if two-thirds of the senators vote for conviction, the president is removed from office. more...

November 16, 2006

Lieberman Might Jump Ship
By Matthew Rothschild

I had the misfortune of watching Joe Lieberman on Meet the Press Sunday.

He was his usual, insufferable, unctuous self.

And he was parroting the conventional wisdom that the elections represent „the return of the center of American politics.š

That‚s convenient for him, though it ignores the victory of socialist Bernie Sanders in Vermont and populists like Sherrod Brown in Ohio and Jon Tester in Montana.

Lieberman claims to be in the center, though he won 70 percent of the Republican vote, which gives you a better indication of his leanings.

And he may tip over soon. more...

November 15, 2006


ANDREW MARTIN, NY TIMES - Hannaford Brothers, [has] developed a system called Guiding Stars that [rates] the nutritional value of nearly all the food and drinks at its stores from zero to three stars. Of the 27,000 products that were plugged into Hannaford's formula, 77 percent received no stars, including many, if not most, of the processed foods that advertise themselves as good for you.

These included V8 vegetable juice (too much sodium), Campbell's Healthy Request Tomato soup (ditto), most Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice frozen dinners (ditto) and nearly all yogurt with fruit (too much sugar). Whole milk? Too much fat - no stars. Predictably, most fruits and vegetables did earn three stars, as did things like salmon and Post Grape-Nuts cereal.

At a time when more and more products are being marketed as healthy, the fact that so many items seemed to flunk Hannaford's inspection raises questions about the integrity of the nutrition claims, which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration - or possibly about whether Hannaford made its standards too prissy or draconian. Either way, the results do seem to confirm the nagging feeling that the benefits promoted by many products have a lot more to do with marketing than nutrition. more...

November 14, 2006

Rep. Kucinich:
America Needs Iraq War Hearings

By Joshua Scheer

In an original Truthdig interview, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), the potential next chair of the Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations, calls for congressional hearings into how and why America invaded Iraq, and demands „accountabilityš for those who led America into a „war based on lies.š

TRUTHDIG: Do you have a plan that could get us out of Iraq?

KUCINICH: I‚ve had a plan to get us out of Iraq from the minute we got there. I‚ve had it on my website for three yearsųelements of which are still very viable. It calls for the U.S. to give up its control of the oil assets to move towards soliciting U.N. involvement. more...

November 13, 2006

An Open Letter to Carl Levin: No Free Pass to Gates    
 By Ray McGovern

Dear Senator Levin:

The humiliation you felt was palpable when, as the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, you were unceremoniously diddled by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputies Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, chief architects of the fiasco in Iraq. They all but thumbed their noses at you, and you often complained about their "lack of candor." In two short months, you will chair Armed Services and will no longer have to tolerate such behavior. Indeed, you can start practicing now by not letting the nomination of Robert Gates be a "slam dunk."

One need not be politically astute to see that the White House is again using its cat's paw Senator, patrician gentleman from Virginia John Warner, who now chairs the committee, to force through the nomination of Gates this year, while the lame-duck Republicans still hold the majority. That, of course, is par for the course. What is far more disturbing is press reporting that you intend to acquiesce in that maneuver. You don't have to do that any more.

I am having a hard time believing that you would give Gates a pass, since I have so much admired your courage in the past. But I fear that the many recent years in minority exile may have dulled your edge and that you have gotten too used to unsavory compromises. I have in mind the deal you worked out with South Carolina Republican senator Lindsay Graham curtailing some of the rights of "detainees." Not to mention your sudden cave-in, in the aftermath of 9/11, on funding for the National Missile Defense program, which you earlier recognized as obscenely expensive, of unproven reliability, and of dubious utility given the changing nature of the threats to our security.   more...   
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